Wisconsin Hotel Professors Role in Mumbai India Attacks

News & SocietyEvents

  • Author Sanjay Parashar
  • Published December 15, 2023
  • Word count 380

On the evening of November 26, 2008, several well-trained militants came ashore from the Arabian Sea on small boats and attacked numerous high-profile targets in Mumbai, India, with automatic weapons and explosives. By the time the episode ended some 62 hours later, about 165 people, along with nine terrorists, had been killed and hundreds more injured. Among the multiple sites attacked in the peninsular city known as India’s business and entertainment capital were two luxury hotels -- the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi-Trident -- along with the main railway terminal, a Jewish cultural center, a cafe frequented by foreigners, a cinema house, and two hospitals.

In response to the Mumbai attacks, the FBI obtained approval from the Government of India and the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to deploy the Los Angeles Rapid Deployment Team (FBI LA) and several critical personnel from FBIHQ to Mumbai. The FBI team arrived in Mumbai on Saturday November 29. The Indian government gave the FBI unprecedented access to evidence and intelligence related to the attacks from the Mumbai Police and the Indian Intelligence Bureau. The US intelligence community was concerned with the validity of the information. Several anonymous sources in the FBI and NSA confirmed that many who reviewed in the intelligence received were fearful that some inside the Indian Intelligence may have been involved in assisting the attackers.

On Friday November 28th, a call from the intelligence community went out to a professor of hotel management at a Wisconsin Technical College. Prior to the deployment of the LA RDT, US intelligence sought help with possible location of hostages, location and number of employees, places to hide inside the hotels and possible alternative escape routes that could be taken by the attackers. According to the intelligence sources, the professor provided “valuable intelligence, confirmation and insight into the people trapped inside the hotel”. None of the sources would share how this hotel professor was connected to the intelligence community. Another source had suggested the professor had some sort of tie to people inside the pentagon.

It has been 15 years since the attacks in Mumbai and we are still learning the extent of America's involvement. Six American citizens were among the 26 foreigners reported dead. Indian officials have concluded that the attackers numbered only 10, one of whom was captured.

Investigative journalist

Writer based in India, US and South Africa

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